Examples of ways to differentiate instruction

TeachersFirst's Thinking Teachers who write our resource reviews often have suggestions that have worked in their classrooms. Open the reviews to the "more" view to see ideas for using specific resources as tools to differentiate for a variety of learners. Alternatively, use the keyword search tool at the left of this page to search for a curriculum topic and the term "differentiate." For example, search fractions differentiate (with "all the words" selected for the search).

 

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Exam Elf - ZumFun Inc.

Grades
4 to 8
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Exam Elf offers a teacher's dashboard and math resources for preparing for standardized math tests. Although specifically built for STAAR/PARCC testing, this tools is useful for preparing...more
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Exam Elf offers a teacher's dashboard and math resources for preparing for standardized math tests. Although specifically built for STAAR/PARCC testing, this tools is useful for preparing all students in 12 essential skills all aligned to Common Core Math Standards. The teacher dashboard includes summaries of all students' progress including individual strengths and weaknesses. After enrolling students, students download the iPad or iPhone app and enter the teacher code to get started.

tag(s): commoncore (102), test prep (99)

In the Classroom

Use Exam Elf to reinforce and practice math concepts to prepare for standardized testing. Create an account to differentiate math practice to meet varying student needs. Use the data provided in the teacher dashboard to guide math instruction.

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Open Up Resources Math Curriculum - Open Up Resources

Grades
6 to 8
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Access the Illustrated Mathematics Grades 6-8 curriculum for free through the Open Up Resources site. Register on the site to view and gain access to course materials. Select the grade...more
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Access the Illustrated Mathematics Grades 6-8 curriculum for free through the Open Up Resources site. Register on the site to view and gain access to course materials. Select the grade level and choose teacher, parent, or student materials. Content is divided into units and lessons and includes all materials except assessments. Provide additional information related to your school affiliation to gain access to assessments. Additional options include downloading resources as a print file or import into a Microsoft OneNote Class Notebook.

tag(s): data (162), equations (152), exponents (43), factoring (30), factors (40), fractions (229), geometric shapes (173), measurement (178), percent (81), probability (141), pythagorean theorem (33), ratios (63), transformations (18), volume (53)

In the Classroom

Include this site to supplement your current grade 6-8 math curriculum. Use the resources to differentiate instruction for gifted students in lower grades or as remediation for struggling students in older grades. Be sure to take advantage of the family materials providing explanations of math content and strategies for problem-solving. Use the student materials for differentiating instruction or as homework. Have students share their math explanations and strategies with video explanations using a tool like FlipGrid, reviewed here. FlipGrid provides a tool for video responses to a question along with comments from peers. Take student learning a step further and ask them to create and share their own math problems along with suggestions for learning. Use a tool like Sway, reviewed here. Sway is a presentation tool that offers multimedia options including text, video, and images.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Moonshot Learning - Moonshot Learning

Grades
9 to 12
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Moonshot Learning provides free case studies to explore the real-life applications of emergent technologies, many of the studies correlate to Common Core Standards. Choose the Case...more
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Moonshot Learning provides free case studies to explore the real-life applications of emergent technologies, many of the studies correlate to Common Core Standards. Choose the Case Studies link to view all material offered, sort the list by subject, technology, assignment, or activity. The topics contained within the case studies appeal to student interests including sports, cars, and current events. Registration isn't required; however, it allows you to access all materials including teacher's guides. Lessons include videos, articles, and guiding questions.

tag(s): commoncore (102), computers (102), ethics (19), financial literacy (90), genetics (89)

In the Classroom

Use Moonshot Learning case studies across the curriculum and to differentiate instruction based on student interest. Many of these case studies are perfect for extension activities and for use with Gifted students. After completing activities found on this site have students create a multimedia presentation using Genial.ly, reviewed here. Genial.ly allows you to add polls, audio, videos, embeds, web links, PowerPoint, PDfs, and more.

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Twitter Chat: Differentiating Instruction: Practical Ideas for Teachers - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This archived Twitter chat is from December 2017. Browse the tips and tools offered by the chat moderators and participants. Through this chat participants will: share specific strategies...more
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This archived Twitter chat is from December 2017. Browse the tips and tools offered by the chat moderators and participants. Through this chat participants will: share specific strategies that can be used to accommodate students' learning needs, discuss ed tech tools available to assist in differentiating instruction, and discuss ways in which to make content accessible to all students.

tag(s): differentiation (53), twitterchatarchive (41)

In the Classroom

View this chat to learn more about differentiation and tools to help you engage and differentiate for the various levels and interests in your class.

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Data Analysis and Probability Resources - Grades 3-5 - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 5
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Explore this curated list of resources ideal for grades 3-5. Use these resources to meet the NCTM standards in the area of Probability and Data Analysis. Many of these tools ...more
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Explore this curated list of resources ideal for grades 3-5. Use these resources to meet the NCTM standards in the area of Probability and Data Analysis. Many of these tools would be useful on your interactive whiteboard or in your BYOD classroom. Topics include line plots, graphs, surveys, numerical data, and more.

tag(s): charts and graphs (198), data (162), probability (141)

In the Classroom

Share the resources with students for additional practice, remediation, enrichment, or advancement. Display resources on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use these tools in your BYOD classroom to differentiate for math class.

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Grade Spelling - SpellingClassroom

Grades
K to 8
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Grade Spelling is a free site for practicing spelling through different activities. Take a spelling placement test to determine your spelling grade level. Find complete spelling courses...more
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Grade Spelling is a free site for practicing spelling through different activities. Take a spelling placement test to determine your spelling grade level. Find complete spelling courses for grades 1-8 including weekly word lists and day-by-day practice activities. Additional word lists include practice with holiday words, SAT word lists and lessons, and Dolch word lists.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): spelling (168), vocabulary (320)

In the Classroom

Discover the many ready-to-go, free resources on this site to find spelling lists and activities. This site makes it easy to differentiate instruction and personalize lists for students based on ability. If your students are struggling, begin with an easier list to build confidence. If your students aren't being challenged enough, try lists above grade level to build spelling skills.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Answerables - Nexed

Grades
K to 8
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Answerables is a game-based virtual learning world and learning management system. Download and log in as an educator to begin. Within Answerables, users create PODS to enroll students,...more
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Answerables is a game-based virtual learning world and learning management system. Download and log in as an educator to begin. Within Answerables, users create PODS to enroll students, create events and assignments, and provide feedback. This site features the use of a token system representing web URLs used by students. Be sure to check out the explanatory video demonstrating all features available within Answerables. Free accounts provide access for single users. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as ClipGrab, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): classroom management (159), game based learning (139)

In the Classroom

All subject area teachers can benefit from making Answerables your digital library available from anywhere and anytime for you and your students. Store and organize links to websites, videos, and more for your students. Use PODS on this site to differentiate learning for students. Share student's digital work in this secure environment with parents and peers.

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OneHistory - Hilary Mac Austin and Kathleen Thompson

Grades
6 to 12
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OneHistory uses stories, images, biographies, editorials, and essays to tell the history of America through the diversity of its people. Use links on the site to view information through...more
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OneHistory uses stories, images, biographies, editorials, and essays to tell the history of America through the diversity of its people. Use links on the site to view information through reading history and visual history. Be sure to check out the teacher feature index containing tips for teaching through photographs and links to great speeches and documents.

tag(s): 1800s (49), 1900s (37), african american (109), biographies (91), cross cultural understanding (124), essays (21), great depression (27), primary sources (93), speeches (19)

In the Classroom

Bookmark OneHistory as a resource for primary sources when teaching American History and as an excellent tool for finding information featuring diversity throughout the years. Have students create a multimedia presentation using Voicethread, reviewed here, to tell the story of a moment in history. Voicethread allows you to add narration to a picture. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report. Take advantage of the high interest, low readability level stories on the site to differentiate for the variety of reading levels in your classroom and to include informational (nonfiction) reading standards.

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TeachersFirst's Math Resources for Algebra - Grade 6-8 - TeachersFirst

Grades
6 to 8
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Peruse our collection of algebra resources for grades 6-8. Use these resources to meet the NCTM standards for Algebra. Find topics that relate to the content being taught in your ...more
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Peruse our collection of algebra resources for grades 6-8. Use these resources to meet the NCTM standards for Algebra. Find topics that relate to the content being taught in your classroom. Find tools to use in pre-algebra and algebra class.

tag(s): data (162), number lines (32), order of operations (40), percent (81), pi (28)

In the Classroom

Introduce these resources on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share the resources on your class website for students to use for remediation or review. Share tools on your interactive whiteboard or in your BYOD classroom. Use these sites to differentiate for students in pre-algebra and algebra.

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Math Resources for Algebra - Grades 9-12 - TeachersFirst

Grades
8 to 12
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Explore this curated list of algebra resources for grades 9-12, chosen as the BEST by our editors. Use these resources to meet the NCTM standards for Algebra. Find topics ...more
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Explore this curated list of algebra resources for grades 9-12, chosen as the BEST by our editors. Use these resources to meet the NCTM standards for Algebra. Find topics that relate to the content being taught in your classroom.

tag(s): data (162), number lines (32), percent (81), pi (28), quadratics (31), ratios (63)

In the Classroom

Share these resources on your class website for students to use for remediation or review. Share tools on your interactive whiteboard or in your BYOD classroom. Use these sites to differentiate.

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Math Resources for Numbers & Operations - Grades 3-5 - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 5
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Explore this curated list of resources ideal for grades 3-5. Use these resources to meet the NCTM standards in the area of Numbers & Operations. Many of these tools would ...more
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Explore this curated list of resources ideal for grades 3-5. Use these resources to meet the NCTM standards in the area of Numbers & Operations. Many of these tools would be useful on your interactive whiteboard or in your BYOD classroom. Topics include operations, fractions, decimals, order of operations, and more.

tag(s): decimals (125), division (161), fractions (229), multiplication (212), operations (123), order of operations (40)

In the Classroom

Share these resources on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use these tools in your BYOD classroom to differentiate for math class. Share the resources with students for additional practice, remediation, enrichment, or advancement.

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SMMRY - smmry.com

Grades
6 to 12
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Did you ever wish for a website that would summarize long articles of text? SMMRY grants your wish! Copy and paste text, PDF's, websites, or online articles into the text ...more
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Did you ever wish for a website that would summarize long articles of text? SMMRY grants your wish! Copy and paste text, PDF's, websites, or online articles into the text box, upload a PDF file or paste a URL to begin. Choose the number of sentences for the summary, then click the summarize box and view your summary.

tag(s): learning disability (19), Special Needs (33), summarizing (16)

In the Classroom

Introduce SMMRY to students working on research projects as a way to quickly determine content and viability of using websites. Use to differentiate instruction with students. Use with learning support students as a resource to make content easier to understand (and shorter to read). Use SMMRY summaries when teaching how to summarize in an ELA class. Compare the summary you create as a class or in small groups with the "automated" one. Are there subtleties or important distinctions that this tool misses? As a challenge for your more critical thinkers, have them try to figure out what signals the tool uses to create its summary.

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OpenStax - Rice University

Grades
9 to 12
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OpenStax offers free access to high-quality textbooks in core subject areas. View resources by subject, including humanities and AP options. View books online or download in PDF format....more
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OpenStax offers free access to high-quality textbooks in core subject areas. View resources by subject, including humanities and AP options. View books online or download in PDF format. The search options in the online viewer allow users to locate content easily in the digital format.

tag(s): advanced placement (25), book lists (131), ebooks (42), STEM (184)

In the Classroom

Use OpenStax textbooks to dig deeper into core subjects such as math, science, and social studies. Use materials to differentiate instruction based on student abilities and interests. If your current textbooks are older, find newer books on OpenStax and adopt them for your curriculum. Take advantage of the search feature of online books to find supplemental material for your current instruction. Find teaching materials for gifted students using OpenStax textbooks.
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OpenEd - OpenEd

Grades
K to 12
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OpenEd claims to be the world's largest online library of free education resources - videos, lesson plans, assessments, games, and more. Search with a keyword and filter by grade, subject,...more
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OpenEd claims to be the world's largest online library of free education resources - videos, lesson plans, assessments, games, and more. Search with a keyword and filter by grade, subject, standard, resource type, or publisher. Save for later use, or assign to all students or just a few. There are several ways to register students: manually with email and password, give them a code, or upload students from Google Classroom or Edmodo. In the assessment area, a convenient feature is the ability for the teacher to assign videos to the student for review if they answered questions incorrectly. Then the student can try again. Both instructors and students can sign up with email and passwords or social media such as Google and Edmodo. Some videos reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): assessment (118), classroom management (159), multimedia (63), slides (66), video (280)

In the Classroom

With 90% of the million resources free, you're sure to find something you need to supplement current curriculum materials. This site could also be used as a learning center or station during any unit or for review. Use activities from this site to differentiate learning within your classroom. Try flipping class and assign videos, slides or lessons to be completed at home and have a discussion (or question and answer session) about them the next day in class. Include this site on the class website for parents to find at-home math, language arts, science projects, and materials for review. Be sure to share with other teachers on campus.

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The Lowdown - KQED News

Grades
6 to 12
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The Lowdown connects the newsroom to the classroom through timely multimedia articles featuring the latest news. Convert any post to PDF for easy printing and sharing. Search using...more
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The Lowdown connects the newsroom to the classroom through timely multimedia articles featuring the latest news. Convert any post to PDF for easy printing and sharing. Search using a keyword or choose links to find lesson plans, interactives, and videos. Many features include alignment to Common Core Standards. If your district blocks YouTube, videos may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): commoncore (102), journalism (55), multimedia (63), news (261), newspapers (98)

In the Classroom

Achieve two goals with this very people-friendly site: provide quality non-fiction reading materials and the latest in current events. Use this site to differentiate reading materials by student interest. Encourage students to explore the site on their own. Be sure to include a link on classroom computers and your class website for students to access at any time. Flip your class and assign the reading to do at home. Then, have students create a simple infographic sharing findings from The Lowdown with their classmates using Piktochart, reviewed here. Have cooperative learning groups create weekly podcasts with news from around the world. Use a site such as podOmatic, reviewed here.
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Reading Friend - Anne Elizabeth Eaves

Grades
K to 3
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Reading Friend offers an extensive library of free animated books, songs, poems, and learning activities for emerging readers. Choose from categories on the home page, the main catalog...more
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Reading Friend offers an extensive library of free animated books, songs, poems, and learning activities for emerging readers. Choose from categories on the home page, the main catalog listing, or search by keyword. Words are highlighted as the narrator reads. Most, but not all, content is friendly on mobile devices.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): literacy (107), poetry (221), preK (288), reading lists (81), songs (53)

In the Classroom

Use Reading Friend to find and differentiate literacy activities for students. Share links to books and activities on classroom computers for student use as centers. Include a link to activities on your class web page for use at home. Many of the stories and poems will help resource and ELL/ESL students who need to hear word families, phonetics, and such.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Game-Based Learning Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about game-based learning and how to incorporate games into teaching and learning....more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about game-based learning and how to incorporate games into teaching and learning. Engage your students in the way they love to learn - games! Explore resources for quick practice or create your own games using these tools. Nurture problem solving, logic, and creativity.

tag(s): coding (68), differentiation (53), game based learning (139), gamification (88), logic (247)

In the Classroom

Share these tools on your class website or blog for students to use both in and out of the classroom. Use these tools to differentiate and reach all students at the various levels. Challenge your students to create their own games for review of content or acceleration options.

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Google CS First - Google

Grades
5 to 9
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Google CS First is a program for clubs to increase access and teach computer science to 4th-8th-grade students. All training and materials are free for anyone hosting a club in ...more
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Google CS First is a program for clubs to increase access and teach computer science to 4th-8th-grade students. All training and materials are free for anyone hosting a club in the U.S. Materials offer lessons based on themes such as storytelling, sports, social media, friends, and fashion and design. In addition to lesson materials, Google CS provides online training information for club leaders.

tag(s): animation (62), coding (68), critical thinking (121), digital storytelling (156), gamification (88), musical notation (39), problem solving (296), social media (25), sports (100), stories and storytelling (32)

In the Classroom

Create a club in your classroom as part of your STEM activities, as a lunch/recess club, or an at-home activity for students. Use the flyers and presentation materials provided to create interest in the club. Differentiate clubs by student interests and abilities. Share Google CS First with your school's media or tech leader as an excellent resource for teaching coding. This site is perfect for those who want to learn more about coding, but have some hesitancy since all materials from creating a group through the lessons are free. If you still have some doubts, enlist the services of a tech-savvy high school student to help with activities as part of their volunteering requirements.

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Wordie - ABCD English

Grades
2 to 12
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Wordie is a free vocabulary tool for EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teachers; however, it is also a handy tool for all teachers. Begin by typing or pasting in ...more
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Wordie is a free vocabulary tool for EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teachers; however, it is also a handy tool for all teachers. Begin by typing or pasting in text in the provided box. Use up to 1500 characters without registering. Register for free using your email to use unlimited characters. Choose the reading level you want to assign to the text, then click submit. Wordie analyzes the text and provides two boxes with word banks. The first includes vocabulary applicable to the reading level you input, the second displays words above that level. Uncheck any boxes next to words you prefer not to include as vocabulary. Use the Print Preview to create a printable, including the entire text with vocabulary to learn in a featured word box.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): vocabulary (320), vocabulary development (124)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a useful tool for teaching vocabulary from any text. Copy portions of literature into Wordie to identify and create vocabulary lists for students. Differentiate for student abilities based on reading levels. Use Wordie to develop student writing skills. Ask them to copy their writing into Wordie and run the analysis at a reading level you prefer. If there isn't enough new vocabulary words, challenge students to rewrite in a way that reaches a higher reading level. Use Wordie with ESL/ELL learners to point out difficult vocabulary in reading passages before reading.
 

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Symbaloo Learning Paths & Lesson Plans - Symbaloo

Grades
K to 12
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Symbaloo, reviewed here, has taken its popular bookmarking tool and enhanced features to provide a platform for creating virtual interactive lesson...more
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Symbaloo, reviewed here, has taken its popular bookmarking tool and enhanced features to provide a platform for creating virtual interactive lesson plans and learning paths. Log in to your Symbaloo account and browse the Marketplace for already created lessons, or begin creating your own. Add websites, PDF's, videos, and more onto tiles and create a game board and learning path. Follow prompts to add items to the lesson and publish when complete. Symbaloo Lesson Plans & Learning Paths also provides analytics after assigning lessons to view student progress and a calendar option to make lessons available during a chosen time frame.

tag(s): bookmarks (67), DAT device agnostic tool (179), game based learning (139), gamification (88)

In the Classroom

You will want to use Symbaloo Lesson Plan & Learning Paths for many different types of classroom instruction! Create lesson plans to differentiate learning and assign based on student needs and interests. Embed a lesson on your class website for students to complete at home. Using this site allows you to create a clear and concise learning path for any lesson. Share it on an interactive whiteboard with students as you follow through any learning path. Be sure also to include a link to the lesson on your class website for students to use throughout the unit and as a review. Use Symbaloo Lesson Plans as enrichment for independent learning for advanced students, or for remediation with students needing additional help. This site is perfect for use with ESL/ELL students - include links and activities to resources in their native language or add tools for practicing English. There are too many uses for Symbaloo Lesson Plans to include here, be sure to take the time to learn how to create and use this wonderful tool with your students!

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